Twin Nurburgring wins for Volvo Polestar fire up thrilling WTCC title battle

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Thed Bjork and Nicky Catsburg were the winners for Polestar Cyan Racing as the FIA World Touring Car Championship title race was blown wide open following a dramatic WTCC Race of Germany on the legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife this afternoon.

With an estimated 200,000 spectators lining the iconic 25.378-kilometre track, Swede Björk charged through from sixth on the grid to win the Opening Race before Catsburg snatched the lead starting the Main Race. The Dutchman held firm for his second WTCC victory and his first driving a Volvo S60 Polestar, a performance good enough to clinch the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy.

Having arrived in Germany trailing Tiago Monteiro by 38 points, Catsburg is now two points in front in the title standings heading to Monteiro’s home event – WTCC Race of Portugal – next month after Monteiro hit double trouble. Not only did the Castrol Honda World Touring Car driver crash out of the Opening Race following a puncture, he was then forced to start the Main Race from the pit lane when his mechanics were unable to repair damage sustained during the OSCARO Repair Time between the two races. He settled for P13 and, crucially, no points for the first time in 2017.

Mehdi Bennani took WTCC Trophy honours in second overall in the Opening Race for Sébastien Loeb Racing with Rob Huff, driving for German team ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, close behind in third. Norbert Michelisz started the Main Race from the DHL pole position but a clutch issued prevented him from converting the place into his first win of the season, the factory Honda driver making do with second instead as Huff completed the podium following contact with Catsburg at the first corner while disputing the lead.

Tom Chilton scored a WTCC podium double but it wasn’t quite enough to prevent Rob Huff from moving back to the top of the standings by a single point over his fellow Citroen-driving Briton. Esteban Guerrieri was fifth in the Opening Race but it was a tough day for his fellow Argentine Néstor Girolami, who crashed out from second place in the Main Race with a puncture. Thed Björk followed up his Opening Race victory with fourth spot in the Main Race to move to within eight points of the championship lead. After eight rounds, the top six drivers are covered by 26 points, further underlining the wide-open nature of this season’s WTCC.